Day 24| Jon Laughinghouse
Matthew 1: 18-25


Joseph was perplexed. The plans he had made seemed to
be unraveling with the unexpected news that Mary was
pregnant. Even more puzzling, an angel told him that the
child had been conceived supernaturally by the Holy
Spirit. God’s purpose in this miracle was revealed by these
words from the angel, “She will bear a son, and you shall
call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their

On Christmas Eve, let’s remember and cherish the mystery
of Christ’s birth. This miraculous conception meant that
Jesus, while still God, took on human nature and remained
pure from the curse of sin that plagues mankind. Why? So
that he would be a suitable, substitutionary sacrifice. So
that he could save his people from their sins.

Let’s also remember and treasure the cross for it is there
where our promised salvation was secured. While Jesus
was on the cross, the chief priest and scribes mocked him
saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself!” (Matt.
27) They failed to realize that this was the very moment for
which he had been born. He was saving his people from
their sins!

Joseph’s plans were changed but God’s sovereign
purpose remained. Thank you Lord for saving us. Thank
you for Jesus!

Day 23 | John Black

Day 23 | John Black
2 Corinthians 5: 17-21

Although we do not yet inhabit the new heavens and new
earth of Revelation 21, God’s people can still be
encouraged today as the apostle Paul encouraged the
Corinthians when he penned this letter. During the season
of Christmas, we celebrate the fact that Jesus HAS come
and has ALREADY begun making things new! Notice that
Paul didn’t say “If anyone is in in Christ, he will be a new
creation… so hang tight until Jesus returns.” Rather, the
truth is that if anyone is CURRENTLY in Christ, he IS a new
creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and can in this moment experience
“newness of life” (Rom. 6:4)!

As one responds faithfully to the call of Christ and receives
his “Spirit as a guarantee,” (2 Cor. 5:5), that person is
immediately given a new identity, and it is completely
undeserved. In union with Christ, our sin is not counted
against us (2 Cor. 5:19) because Jesus took that sin on
himself as he bore the wrath of God for our sin on the
cross. Paul stated that in Jesus, God has ALREADY
reconciled his people to himself (2 Cor. 5:18)!

Now, as we consider all that we have gained from the
accomplishments of Christ, we should have peace. We
should have joy. We should have love for Jesus. We
should have hope. But as a result of all of that, we should
also embrace the purpose to which we have been called!
After freeing us from sin’s condemnation, he gave us a
ministry to participate in (2 Cor. 5:18). Jesus didn’t
become sin for us so that we can remain as we are and
do as we will, but that “we might become the
righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21)!
Jesus took the punishment for our sin in order that we
would actively enjoy using his gifts as his ambassadors in
this world. We get to represent him to those who are
without hope. We get to extend the loving hand of Christ
in offering reconciliation to those who are unable to
escape sin’s devastating grip. Not only that, as we walk in
the footsteps of our Savior, he continues to transform us so
that when the day comes that we are face-to-face, we
will resemble him more than the day we first met him. In
that moment of embrace, we will get to hear him say, “I
love you, beautiful child. This is why I came.”

Day 22 | Zach & Megan Quest

Day 22 | Zach & Megan Quest
Ephesians 1:16-23

Imagine the joy and hope Paul must have felt as he
reflected and wrote to the church in Ephesus. Just years
before, he had planted the church (Acts 18:19) and spent
several years teaching (Acts 19:8-10); now it was thriving.
Paul’s message to the Ephesians is not just of praise, but of
continual loving guidance. He wishes for them to know the
hope to which Christ called them – to know the riches and
glorious inheritance his holy people would one day obtain,
and lastly to know the power we possess as believers in
Christ. He reminds the Ephesians that the same power that
resurrected Jesus lives within them…. and us!
His words are simple, yet profound. They are also
easy to say, but easy to forget. In a world that convinces us
we need more power, more strength, more of everything –
this is a reminder that we have everything we need living
within us through Christ.
Our prayer for you all this season is the same prayer

Paul had for the Ephesians: that you would feel the life-
changing hope we are promised as believers, and the
power that exists within us through Christ. Whatever this sea
son looks like for you, know that no season, feeling, or
moment lasts in comparison to the eternal gift we have
waiting for us.

The Greatest Christmas Gift

Day 21 | Allen Steele
Galatians 1: 3-5

The Greatest Christmas Gift

The blessings grace and peace came from God the Father
– who willed to give us his son; and from the Son – who
willingly gave himself for us. He gave himself from the
cradle to the cross.

He gave himself in heaven. He did not hoard the glory he
shared with the Father as something to be forcefully
defended. Rather, he humbled himself, taking on the form
of the lowly baby lying in a manger.

At Gethsemane he gave himself in obedience. He
steadfastly prayed, and chose, not his own will, but the
father’s… by this will, we are sanctified through the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave himself for our sin on the cross that he might
deliver us from this present evil world. Indeed, He has
accomplished His mission. The angels gave glory to God.
May that song – Christ’s willing, humble, sacrificial life –
resonate in us forever and ever.

Day 19 | Ja’Monda Davis

Day 19 | Ja’Monda Davis
John 18:33-38
33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called
Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the
Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own
accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate
answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief
priests have delivered you over to me. What have you
done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.
If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have
been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the
Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate
said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say
that I am a king. For this purpose, I was born and for this
purpose, I have come into the world—to bear witness to
the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my
voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth? After he had
said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told
them, “I find no guilt in him.”

This section of scripture leaves many things to observe. It is
interesting to consider that Jesus knew Pilate’s heart and
thoughts during their dialog. In the natural, Jesus was on
trial, with Pilate attempting to find a cause for the
judgment of Jesus. However, one could surmise that it was
actually Pontius Pilate who was on trial, as he stood before
the righteous Judge, the living God in the flesh. Pilate had
the long-awaited Messiah standing before him, but he did
not recognize Him as such. Pilate’s view was a narrow view
as his perspective was based on the world, and what he
could see before him. However, Jesus in verse 36 of this
passage explained that His perspective is not based on or
limited by this world. His thoughts and ways are so much
higher than our thoughts and ways.

Day 19 (continued)|

Jesus saw far beyond the moment when he talked with
Pontius Pilate, and He sees beyond our circumstances,
beyond our generation, and into eternity. All earthly
kingdoms will come to an end, but God’s kingdom will reign
forever. Finally, in verses 37 and 38, Pontius Pilate and Jesus
spoke about truth, with Jesus referring to absolute Truth and
Pilate speaking of relative truth, a topic that has been
argued about until this very day. In the reading of this
scripture, I am challenged to try and see things from an
eternal perspective. There is a reason why the Bible calls us
to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to
trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and to lean not on our
own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). God who spoke the world
into existence, created us all, and died to save us sees the
big picture. We can be deceived and led astray when we
lean on our own understanding. It is for great love, mercy,
grace, and protection that God calls us to faith and
absolute Truth. His ultimate plans are good for those who
love him and are called according to his purpose.